Located in London’s upmarket Mayfair district, exclusive London nightlife venue Tape is a regular haunt for some of the capital’s most finely heeled clubbers, attracting all manner of household-name DJs and A-list stars from across the globe. Targeting an elite clientele of ‘influential members of the music industry and true enthusiasts’, it places audio quality at the forefront of its operation. Recently, it upgraded its sound system to a complete d&b audiotechnik solution with the goal of becoming the best sounding club in London.
Reviews of Tape regularly mention not only the on-trend customers and solid soundtrack but also the superb sound quality, priding itself on how it sounds, looks and feels.
Stuart Wright from global audio solutions specialist Eighth Day Sound oversaw the club’s sound upgrade after being approached by two of Tape’s key figures: team leader, Heff Moraes, and AV and production manager, Sam Hunwicke.
“Tape London is a venue that plays mainly hip-hop, so we needed a system that could handle ‘industrial’ bass end with accuracy and punch,” says Hunwicke. “The club is an unusual shape, so designing a system that delivered a great sonic experience throughout the club was a challenge.”
“d&b was definitely the correct tool for this project, given the size and dimensions of Tape’s main room,” Wright adds. “It was also clear from the start that a point source solution was the best way forward.
“Eighth Day Sound is one of the largest stockists and users of d&b products in the world, and we have grown together as companies. I had heard the d&b 24S-D loudspeakers at the Global Partner Meeting that year and knew they were what the club needed. We went ahead and provided demonstrations at our London facility, including the loudspeakers we thought would suit the install.”
Following the showcase, Moraes and Hunwicke specified a system of d&b 24S-D and 10S-D loudspeakers, with low-end reinforcement from B22-SUBs, V-SUBs and B6-SUBs, and driven by D80 amplifiers. The loudspeakers and subwoofers are flown from the roof of the venue to give as much clear line of sight as possible. They are configured in a classic left, right and outfill layout with delay positions to lift the HF, as it naturally starts to tail off near the rear of the room.
“We utilised d&b ArrayCalc and R1 software for system design, settings, optimisation, and control, as well as timing and tuning,” Wright continues. “Of course, our ears also played a big part in the fine-tuning of the system, with Heff’s and the club’s requirements taken into consideration.
“Cardioid has its place in the world, there is no doubt, but for the hottest hip-hop club in London the B22- SUB was always going to be the smart move. Eighth Day has had many years of providing sound solutions for tours the world over and our success in rap and hip-hop touring is undoubtedly down to one of the best subwoofers ever made – the B2. With that knowledge, its successor, the B22, was an easy choice.”
Hunwicke comments: “Since the installation, Tape has become known as the best sounding nightclub in London. The system delivers exactly what we were looking for – punchy, exciting bass, with a smooth, high fidelity top end.”
In addition to a clubbing space, Tape functions as a standalone, 300-capacity venue and has hosted exclusive sets from artists including Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Drake. The exclusive Tape Members room is an intimate 100-capacity that has regular live unplugged events with MTV and other music brands. It also houses a world-class recording studio, home to some of the most sought after producers and artists on the planet.
Wright concludes: “The feedback from the clients and the London club scene is very positive. The belief is that Tape is now the best sounding club in London and I do not doubt it.”